Whar are a buyer’s rights if a seller failed to disclose a pre-exisiting condition regarding their house?

I bought a house about 3 months ago the house was registered 1 month ago. The roof was damaged by the heavy rains 2weeks ago. The bank’s insurance assessor found out that the whole roof was previously burnt but the seller never disclosed that to us. We bought the house through an agent who we also found out that was not registered with the property agents board. What can I do to get out of this situation without loosing money?

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Alaska


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every state in this country the seller of an item such as a car or house has an affirmative obligation to disclose all know items with the item being sold that would materially affect the desirability of the item or the price paid by a willing buyer.

In your situation, if the seller knew that there was a prior fire at the home you bought and did not disclose this material fact, he or she had a duty to do so. The issue is what are the damages that you suffered? What are the costs of repairs if any are needed?

You should retain a licensed contractor to inspect the home to see what is structurally wrong with it and its costs of repairs if any. You should also confer with a real estate attorney about this situation in order to see if cancellation of the purchase is warranted.

Good luck.

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